Saturday, January 29, 2011

Using His Head

This kid still makes me laugh when he does things like this...

or this...

or this...
I think it's so cute every time he puts a hat on his head, or headbands or Kris' headlamp. It never gets old. Remember this:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Take a Hike!

A week ago Saturday we decided to take a hike. I had remembered hiking to the Wind Caves when I was a small child but I never knew where they were. I asked my mom and she said they were just over at Usery Park, about 15 minutes away from us. Isn't it funny how in my little child mind it was such a far away and exotic place? So off we went. We had been itching to get out and do something and soak in all this most wonderful weather while we've got it. We went late in the afternoon, and it actually turned out to be such a beautiful time to go. On the way down from the top we got to watch the sunset. And it was gorgeous.
Here we are at the beginning of the hike, we didn't really have any idea how difficult it would be. It was 3.2 miles round trip, which doesn't really seem like that long, but for us out of shape hikers it was a bit challenging. We were getting passed by 80 year olds. Seriously. Granted, we did have small children with us. At least that's the excuse I'm going with.
The majestic saguaro cactus. As a child I didn't really understand their beauty, I took it for granted having grown up around them my entire life. In fact, I was never a cactus fan at all. I preferred forests. Until I began working the front desk at a hotel when I was a teenager. People from all over were fascinated by the saguaro, we had a huge one right in front of the hotel and everyone would take pictures by it. Gradually, I realized that they were something special and I have grown to love their strength and majesty.

The views were amazing. We could see the whole valley- from the skyscrapers in Phoenix to the fountain going off in Fountain Hills (which by the way ain't got nothin' on Old Faithful).
Hiking buddies.
One of these boys is doing his own thing... Kris says he is as stubborn as his mother.
Colby was so gung ho thoughout the entire hike. He wanted to do it all on his own. He only rode on shoulders for probably 30 minutes total. The hike took us about 3 hours.
Peek-a-boo Gracie.
At the top!

It was long and challenging but there is nothing better than reaching the top. So many parallels to life in hiking. I love it! It was a beautiful hike and I highly recommend it, we all had so much fun even when it was difficult. Gracie had us cracking up because she pretty much complained the whole way, asking us why we made her do this, saying we should just quit and go home and then when we got home my dad asked her how the hike was and she told him it was "awesome!" And it was! (In spite of all her complaining.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

December Recap

Well, actually I'm starting with the end of November. Gracie had her orchestra concert on the 23rd. She loves playing the violin and she did a great job!

On December 2nd we went to Matthew's choir concert. I sacrificed an hour of sleep once a week before school to get him to choir since it was an extra activity that he wanted to do. Maybe it was because of all those girls...
I've been trying to upload videos from his concerts but am not having any luck :(

On Dec. 8th Gracie got to participate in the school spelling bee. And she won (she's only a 4th grader)! She was SO excited and we were all so proud of her. I could hardly stand the nerves, I don't think I have ever been more nervous in my life. Now it's on to the district bee this week and I'm so nervous it's killing me. I'm just praying she can make it past the first round.

On the 12th we went to Matthew's band concert. They did a great job. We love the music teacher at their school, he's a great band teacher and he also did the choir class.

Dec. 18th had us out in the desert enjoying a cookout with Kris' side of the family. We had yummy hot dogs, smores and some fun 4 wheelin'.

Colby really enjoyed the smores.

On the 23rd we got to take a little boat around Val Vista Lakes and see all the Christmas lights. We had fun with G&G Walz and G&G Archibald. The kids were especially excited since it was followed with dinner at MickeyD's.

We made sugar cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.
It was kind of a quick, thrown together ordeal since I so did not have it together.
But at least we did it.

We also did Christmas Eve jammies but I can't believe that we didn't take any pictures of the kids after they put them on. Kind of depressing. Oh well. Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.

Christmas morning.
Gracie had been pining away for this mini American Girls Samantha doll for ages.
Luckily Santa came through.

Colby's huge Elmo.

Matthew's new mountain bike, now he and Dad can really tackle the desert together.

Owen playing his new DS and Rex wishing he had one. Kind of makes me feel bad but he's only four for crying out loud. He was a tricky one this year and I think he is the one kid who kind of got the shaft. He didn't really get anything that he was dying over. There's always next year.